Parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislative assembly consisting of 49 members, elected by citizens aged 21 years and over of whom 47 are matai (chiefly titleholders) and 2 (untitled) represents the part and non Samoan population. The Prime Minister selects 12 other parliamentarians to form a Cabinet. General elections are held every five years. The Human Rights Protection Party has been in power for an uninterrupted 28 years. The 1990 Village Fono Act gives village councils authority over village law and order, health and social issues.
1st January 1962 (Western) Samoa became independent from New Zealand administered UN trusteeship. The Independent State of Samoa celebrates Independence on 1st June every year.
Samoa has a Westminster legal system based on the English legal system as adopted by many of the Commonwealth countries. It is also a Parliamentary democracy where its Parliament is elected through universal suffrage every five years and a Prime Minister and Cabinet manage the day to day affairs of the country.
Samoa’s court system consists of two District courts and a Supreme Court manned by six local judges, and an Appeal Court that sits once or twice a year and is overseen by overseas judges. There is a separate Land and Titles Court that deals with matters relating to customary land ownership and ‘matai’ (chief) titles.